bring something into the fold

Wookie

Senior Member
Korea, Korean
Porsche, he said, needed to bring Volkswagen into the fold to ensure that others do not get their hands on it.

I couldn't find that idiom in dictionaries.
What does "bring into the fold" mean?
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Porche shares technology research with VW, and fears that VW might be broken up have, amongst other things, led to all the takeover talk. By taking over VW it would keep it, like a sheep in a sheepfold, safe from the predators, wolves, who might want to buy it and break it up.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    One of the definitions of "fold" is "church". So a clergyman might welcome new members into the "fold".

    I think that the usage here is is an extension of the "fold = church" usage.
     

    Salvage

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "Into the fold" can also mean to bring someone around to the same philosophy, belief, or value system so that they will not be a problem either through ignorance, unpredictability, or outright opposition. Becoming one of the herd.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Doesn't the use of the church as a fold derive from an extended image of Christ as the good shepherd and the extended sheep-keeping metaphor he used, and/or the priest as pastor. In other words, isn't it derived figuratively from the sheep-pen, rather than being an independent or primary meaning?
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Doesn't the use of the church as a fold derive from an extended image of Christ as the good shepherd and the extended sheep-keeping metaphor he used, and/or the priest as pastor. In other words, isn't it derived figuratively from the sheep-pen, rather than being an independent or primary meaning?
    It seems so, the Online Etymology Dictionary doesn't list a separate entry for fold meaning church, moreover it is listed in the same entry in dictionaries as the enclosure for sheep, what makes it almost sure the origin is the same. I think that the fold began to mean church as you described, Thomas.
    fold (n.) "pen or enclosure for sheep or other domestic animals," O.E. falæd, falud, a Gmc. word (cf. E.Fris. folt "enclosure, dunghill," Dan. fold "pen for sheep"), of uncertain origin. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=fold&searchmode=none

    Tom
     
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